Gun blind spot


To the editor,


I’ll bet when those people were running for cover in the Navy Yard they were thinking, “Boy am I glad I live in a country where we have the freedom to buy guns.” Or maybe, “I wish there were a good man with a gun around here.” And I’ll bet the relatives of the victims were equally as glad that the congress didn’t pass a background check bill nine months ago that may have prevented Alexis from buying a gun two weeks ago. What a bunch of crap! Please spare me the video game and mental health excuses. Half the countries in the world have those games as well as mentally-challenged citizens - and their gun deaths are a fraction of ours. This is about guns and the ease of getting them in America.

What we need to do: Pass a Federal background check bill that would flag anybody with a gun related incident in their past - not just convictions. When that bill becomes law, it will be illegal to obtain a semi-automatic weapon or a handgun. People who own those weapons will have 90 days to register them (serial number and ballistics) with the county sheriff. If you get caught after that with an illegal weapon, it gets confiscated, and you go to jail for 30 days. All information goes into a Federal database, accessible by all firearms dealers and local law enforcement. Create a classification for hunting rifles and totally exempt them from the law. All black powder, antique firearms, collectors etc would be totally exempted. None of this would violate even the current, phony interpretation of the second amendment. Your three-year old daughter could still play with the loaded handgun that you took into Yellowstone Park for “protection.” And she’d still be just as dead.

For all the good things America stands for and is an example of (and that’s still a long list) we have a blind spot when it comes to guns. That will continue as long as gutless politicians are bullied by the gun lobby, and as long as the NRA defiles the word freedom by tying it to guns. The 30,000 gun deaths that occur annually represent the equivalent of the Vietnam war every 18 months. The difference is that those who die in war, die defending freedom. Those who die in gun violence, die because of it.


Pete Bengeyfield